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The Law

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

No otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities in the United States shall solely by reason of his disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is still in effect and it contains (in Subpart E) more specific information regarding post-secondary education than the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education.

Provisions of Section 504

Quinsigamond Community College as a public institution of higher education that has received federal assistance is legally bound to prohibit discrimination in the recruitment process and the educational process of student with disabilities. Students with documented disabilities are entitled to receive approved modifications, appropriate academic adjustments or auxiliary aids that will enable them to participate in and have the opportunity to benefit from all educational programs and activities at QCC.

Under the provisions of Section 504, Quinsigamond Community College may not:

  • Limit the number of otherwise qualified students with disabilities admitted;
  • Make pre-admission inquiries as to whether an applicant is disabled;
  • Exclude an otherwise qualified student with a disability from any course of study;
  • Provide less financial assistance to students with disabilities than is provided to non-disabled students, or limit eligibility for scholarships on the basis of disability;
  • Counsel students with disabilities into more restrictive career paths than is recommended to students who are non-disabled;
  • Measure student achievement using modes that adversely discriminate against a student with a disability; or
  • Establish rules and policies that have the effect of limiting participation of students with disabilities in educational programs or activities.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is civil rights legislation that affects 43,000,000 Americans with disabilities. The purpose of the act is to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA applies to all institutions of higher education regardless of federal funds. ADA is under the jurisdiction of the department of justice.

Title II: Title II of ADA is divided into two subparts. Subpart A requires that state and local government entities and programs be made accessible to persons with disabilities. Subpart B requires that public transportation systems be made fully accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

Title III: Title III of ADA covers the accessibility and availability of programs, goods, and services provided to the public by private entities.